More on HR3, The Anti-Women GOP Bill Whose Sponsor Wants to "Re-Enfranchise The Unborn"

This morning, American women wake up having been dealt yet another crippling blow by the GOP members of congress. At Ms. Magazine's blog, Amanda Litman lays out several of the major planks of this bill, introduced by GOP rep Chris Smith (NJ), which goes way beyond the Hyde Amendment in decimating women's rights, and would include a clause allowing doctors to refuse live-saving abortions to women:

...H.R.3 denies tax credits to small businesses that purchase a health insurance policy that includes abortions–currently 87 percent of private insurance plans do–and enacts strict requirements for private insurance companies that cover abortions.

Additionally, the bill eliminates privately funded insurance coverage for abortion in the health-care exchanges (marketplaces for insurance purchasers) established by the Affordable Care Act. NARAL Pro-Choice America estimates that 13.5 million women who receive health coverage through Medicaid and other government-sponsored programs will permanently lose access to abortion coverage if the bill is made law.

...the bill effectively turns IRS agents into “abortion cops.” The law forbids women from using tax benefits (such as credits or deductions) to pay for abortions. Therefore, to ensure that taxpayer money does not go towards the procedure, IRS agents would have to ask questions like, “Were you raped? Was it incest?”

Finally, the bill includes a provision that prevents women in the military from having abortions on federal property, such as military bases...

Robin Marty at RH Reality Check has flagged a "thank-you" video in which Chris Smith creepily declares he's in the process of "re-enfranchising the unborn." 


At Daily Kos, David Waldman breaks down the political uptake and exactly what we should be wary of down the line:

What can I tell you? The House passed H.R. 3, which is at once one of the most dangerous and vindictive billsI've ever seen. It's said to have little chance of passing the Senate, and the President has issued a veto threat. But I'll just warn you that the stand-alone version of H.R. 3 probably won't be our big worry here. It'll be the multiple attempts we're likely to see for Republican Senators to try to attach it to various must-pass bills (and probably some not-so-must, just for the hell of it). Of course, getting it past the Senate still means overcoming the 60-vote threshold that the filibuster imposes. But remember that the dynamics of the filibuster aren't the same for the majority party as they are for the minority.

 Waldman also warnsof the dangerous tax code precedent lurking in this bill which could be used, for instance, to attack union members via the tax code.

Watch below:


AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at May 5, 2011, 3:35am